Olga Stefan

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As we approach the 100-year anniversary of the October Revolution next month, we should consider the legacy of this event and its importance in light of our contemporary social ills. The mass majority of the world finds itself living under conditions that have historically led to revolution: generalized injustice and inequality, economic instability, war, and disconnect between those in power and the people.  A universal discontent is currently expressed through the politics of resistance:... [more]
The title of Kunsthaus Zürich’s recent exhibition alluded to both its topic, performance art, but also to the institution’s framing the exhibition as a political statement in and of itself, taking an action of protest against the current ills affecting our society. Curator Mirjam Varadinis positioned the exhibition in contrast to other museums’ recent performance art exhibitions by arguing that, “Action! strikes out on its own by focusing on the moment of action not only formally but also... [more]
Dan Acostioaei, József Bartha, Irina Botea, Razvan Botis, Claudiu Cobilanschi, Stefan Constantinescu, Alexandra Croitoru, Cristina David, Bogdan Gîrbovan, Olivia Mihaltianu, Alex Mirutziu, Ciprian Muresan, Vlad Nanca, Mircea Nicolae, Cristi Pogăcean and Ștefan Sava. at Gallery 400 January 15th, 2016 - February 27th, 2016
Posted 2/24/16
by Razvan Botiş Gallery 400 is currently showing a group exhibit that features Romanian artists, including artist Razvan Botiş’ video Impulse. The video shows two men working together with aerosol deodorants to graffiti a wall. As they go through the motions of creating an elaborate graffiti work, their lines fade behind them, leaving the wall unchanged by their work. Aside from the medium choice, the scene could straightforwardly be a couple of guys spray painting a wall. The work’s message... [more]
New York City, San Francisco, London, Berlin, Miami, and the UAE.   Zurich, Switzerland, is known for finance, a manicured old town, and breathtaking lakeside views. But underneath the polished image of a rich and flourishing city—reinforced by 2016’s concomitant citywide art events set to attract innumerable tourists and generous public and private funds, namely Manifesta 11 and the 100-year-anniversary celebration of Dada—the reality of Zurich’s independent art spaces is not quite as... [more]
ArtSlant is pleased to announce its media partnership with Bucharest Art Week. With the theme, inspired by Milan Kundera’s eponymous 1979 novel, Bucharest Art Week will take place as a unified series of curated exhibitions and events unfolding over the week of October 9–16 in the Romanian capital. At the helm of the Art Week's 2015 edition is Switzerland-based arts writer and curator Olga Stefan (Stefan is also an occasional ArtSlant contributor). Outlining the exhibition's structure and... [more]
“People here need art to be fun, that’s the first step. Then maybe when they start understanding more, it can also be conceptual. But to attract them, it must be fun,” explains Murodjon Sharifov, one of a handful of contemporary artists working in Tajikistan, a post-Soviet Muslim country struggling with the aftermath of a devastating civil war, religious radicalization, and extreme poverty. The country’s dictatorship—President Emomali Rahmon has been in power over 20 years—is seen by many as a... [more]
Can Critical Moving Images Exist in the Art Fair Model? In Conversation with Maxa Zoller   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Julieta Aranda, Katie Armstrong, Will Benedict, Hassan Hajjaj, Kimsooja, Oliver Laric, Pauline Boudry & Renate Lorenz, Karolin Meunier, Takashi Murakami, Laure Provost, Michael Snow, Mounira Al Solh, David Leonard TV, Agnès Varda, Kan Xuan at Art Basel June 18th, 2015 - June 21st, 2015
Posted 6/16/15
 Maxa Zoller is the new curator of this year’s Film Sector at Art Basel. Leading up to her film programme this week, Olga Stefan spoke with the Cairo-based curator and lecturer about the blurred lines between film and video art and their implications on modes of viewing; how film can be commodified; political films and their impact at art fairs; and the spaces of free expression in Cairo.   Olga Stefan: Could you describe for us what this all-encompassing category of "moving image" refers... [more]
At the start of 2015 Călin Dan, art historian and artist in the duo subReal, was hired as director of Romania's National Museum of Contemporary Art (MNAC), following the death of the museum’s founding director, Mihai Oroveanu, by heart attack in August 2013. MNAC opened in 2004 in one wing of the largest administrative building in the world, built at great human sacrifice by Romania’s former dictator Ceaușescu as his own palace. Before the fall of communism the building was called the House of... [more]
A Young Fair with a Lot of Experience: An Interview with LISTE Director Peter Bläuer   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
at LISTE June 17th, 2014 - June 22nd, 2014
Posted 6/16/14
LISTE was founded in 1996 as a new, self-confident generation of gallerists came of age at the end of the 1980s, gallerists who had little chance of securing a space at the world’s most important art fair, Art Basel. The first LISTE, dedicated exclusively to this new generation, presented thirty-six galleries from twelve countries and as a result of its success has continued growing ever since to include seventy-eight galleries today. Peter Bläuer, the Director of LISTE, took some time out of... [more]
Daniel Gustav Cramer is a Berlin-based artist. He has exhibited internationally at the Kunsthalle Mulhouse, France, Kunsthaus Glarus, Switzerland, Kunsthalle Lissabon, and many other international venues. His work, which can take the form of installations, printed matter, photography, and objects, deals mainly with memory. Olga Stefan interviewed Daniel Gustav Cramer on the occasion of his recent exhibition at SALTS, Basel, 01-72. Olga Stefan: It seems that in your artistic practice,... [more]
The Everyday Takes Control: Stefan Constantinescu's Films on Love   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Stefan Constantinescu at Kalmar Konstmuseum February 8th, 2014 - April 27th, 2014
Posted 3/21/14
In the first of seven films in a series dealing with love between men and women (started in 2009 and proposed to end in 2019), a man sits down on a bus in Bucharest, Romania and telephones his wife or girlfriend. He becomes increasingly threatening and verbally violent, compulsively repeating the same questions and accusations over and over in a sort of trance-like loop. (Bus number 92) (2009) depicts a very private and intimate conversation that is played out in the public space, turning the... [more]
“I know that Basel in June is the most exciting place to be if you are from the art scene. I am sure that everybody will be here, collectors, curators, artists and I am looking forward to starting the 'celebration' on Monday,” says gallerist Andreiana Mihail from her headquarters in Romania. As the Art Basel frenzy begins, we decided to focus our attention on the Romanian galleries participating in the main and satellite fairs. This year is somewhat special because there is a total of four... [more]
              Walking into yet another darkened viewing room at the annual Swiss Art Awards, I thought “when will all this video end?” Although it’s likely heresy to propose that most art videos are boring, after having watched more than 15 in an exhibition featuring 40 or so works by as many artists, I’ve had enough. After much thunderingly disappointing boredom, I decided to give this one last video a chance…. and was surprisingly captivated by the beautiful cinematography of the... [more]
                Comprised of special installations by individual artists,  the Art Unlimited section of the influential fair Art Basel in Basel, Switzerland, always seemed an attempt by the picture gallerists to feel a little more museological. This year’s edition of Art Unlimited held few surprises. Doug Aitken, Bill Viola, Urs Fischer, Ugo Rondinone, Ryan Gander, Christian Marclay. In this crowded field of art stars and icons three installation stood apart, with their strong and... [more]
Comical Adventures   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Posted 5/17/10
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Private Engagement   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
at Christinger De Mayo May 17th, 2010 - May 17th, 2010
Posted 5/17/10
          A large disco ball revolves in the middle of the room, projecting innumerable disparate small green squares, which elongate and distort in size as they move throughout the space. But on closer inspection, the broken puzzle of scattered light begins to come together:  Pieces of a woman dancing are scattered among the squares on the back wall of the gallery – fragments of imagery that need to be pieced together in our mind to be identified.  The title of Selina Trepp's Private... [more]
May Day in Zurich   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Posted 5/11/09
                  Erste mai demonstrations in Zurich this year were as "civilized" as Zurich is overall - not much action although lots of "Robocops" were overly prepared for the worst. Some anarchists took over Helvetiaplatz's schoolyard, and yelled slogans at irregular intervals, while juggling large amounts of beer, whose bottles they threw all over the school grounds. A full program of events, movies, and lectures took place during the weekend all celebrating important victories... [more]
Florian Bühler at Katz Contemporary   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Florian Bühler at Katz Contemporary April 1st, 2009 - May 16th, 2009
Posted 5/11/09
It isn't everyday that you see interesting hyper-realistic painting in a contemporary art gallery, but Florian Buhler has managed to utilize the methods of the Old Masters while imbuing his work with contemporaneity, humor and satire. Buhler's exhibition features still-lifes and portraits, but in extremely unorthodox contexts that sometimes perturb and other times amuse. Take, for instance, "The Portrait of the Painter", a self-portrait from an unusual angle below Buhler's chest,... [more]
The Absence of Mark Manders   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Mark Manders at Kunsthaus Zürich March 20th, 2009 - June 14th, 2009
Posted 5/11/09
        Mark Manders' work, now on view at the Kunsthaus Zurich, is at once mysterious, off-putting, engrossing, and sometimes down-right eerie. But throughout, the installations/sculptures of Mark Manders are extremely poetic. His installations are composed of varying pieces that are used as Lego blocks, with which he constructs his "self", and by rearranging these components, he is able to build new and different selves, or identities. And as with all good poetry, his work is not to be... [more]
Art Is Not Eternal   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Annie Heckman, Wendy Kveck, Marci Rubin, Shawn Stucky, Jess Witte at The Art Center - Highland Park March 6th, 2009 - March 29th, 2009
Posted 3/9/09
        "Art is not eternal." Tom Wolfe, The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test "For A Limited Time Only" is an exhibit of ephemeral art curated by Olga Stefan. It showcases seven works that will all change substantially during the three-week run of the show. Shawn Stucky created an edible catalog. Jess Witte created birdseed doilies, which will get scattered or eaten by birds. Annie Heckman stacked glow-in-the-dark bones which could collapse like a house of cards, Marci Rubin's... [more]
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